Would you like to take part in my new Birds A-Z art for wellbeing challenge from home, in your own time? Part of The Big Draw 2021, the Challenge started on 9 August but runs through to January so there’s still time to sign up! From avocet to zebra finch, via heron, kingfisher, sparrow and woodpecker…Each week we’ll focus on a different letter of the alphabet, to draw, paint or occasionally craft birds beginning with that letter. You’ll receive ideas, and an example image with instructions, by email each week, and there will be a dedicated private Facebook group for challenge participants to share artwork, tips and ideas. It will also be an opportunity to explore how and why birds (and art) help boost wellbeing, so you could also share sightings or birdsong…There’s a one-off fee of £3 covering the whole challenge – to sign up please go to Birds A-Z Art for Wellbeing Challenge Tickets, Mon 9 Aug 2021 at 15:00 | Eventbrite
In June 2021 I produced colouring sheets of footballers in action to mark the Euros tournament, and sent these out to the 94 care homes across the UK which requested them. Here are images shared by one of the care homes, Balclutha Court:
Medley’s most recent art for wellbeing project, Plants On Paper, ran throughout the month of May 2021, with 36 people taking part. Flexible art and craft ideas on a plants theme were sent to participants each week, with step-by-step instructions and images as well as themed music & nature ideas and thoughts on wellbeing. Some people also joined the project’s dedicated private Facebook group and it was great to see how they responded to the project. Some images shared by Plants On Paper participants can be seen below:
Medley started running online projects in early 2021. The first art for wellbeing project, Free As A Bird, ran throughout the month of February. A range of art and craft activities on a birds theme were emailed out each week to the 210 people who registered to take part, along with music and nature ideas and thoughts on wellbeing. Some participants also joined the project’s dedicated Facebook group where they could share artwork.
The Free As A Bird project ran again for the month of March 2021, this time specifically for people having to shield from Covid-19 or who are struggling with ongoing coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 55 people joined the project.
Medley also ran a music for wellbeing project in March 2021, Another Day, Another Song. As the name suggests, this project recommended a different song to listen to each day of the month to boost wellbeing. 36 people took part.
I plan to run the next art for wellbeing project in the autumn.
Further projects will follow, hopefully covering all three areas: nature, music and art.
In April 2021 I led a Zoom drawing session for a Stroke Association group. I hope to lead more similar sessions.
Medley also plans to link local music, art or nature groups in different areas with support groups for people in particular circumstances. A project might see a local nature group share their experiences with a support group, or a community choir sing with a support group or a local art group paint a mural for a support group venue, for example. Medley’s community work will be flexible and built around cooperation, drawing people together to engage with nature, art and/or music.
If you are involved with a local or community music, nature or art group anywhere in the UK and would like to learn more about these plans, it would be great to hear from you. Or if you attend or run a support group which you think might like to get involved , then do get in touch as well.